Sleepy Dust Helps You Catch some Zzzzz

WOW! This sugar and salt recipe could be your cure for insomnia! How? Sleepy Dust will deliver the right nutrients which will keep your stress hormones quiet!

It’s the middle of the night and you just woke up for no reason. An hour has passed and you are still awake. You are suffering from a case of insomnia. Want an insomnia cure that can actually work? Taking a small dose of this home remedy sleepy dust recipe made with special sugars and salt just might bring on some much needed zzzz! Yes sugar and salt! Kind of goes against everything you have ever been told right? Keep reading why this mixture actually works!

sleepy dust

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Peanut Butter Fudge and Ganache Coffins, plus Salt Dough Pumpkins

Are you afraid or in love with Halloween? This year Halloween scared me into making a cemetery scene with Peanut Butter Fudge and Ganache coffins, and a few decorative Salt Dough Pumpkins.

It’s Food ‘n Flix time again, the Halloween edition! In this monthly group a host picks a movie of their choice that pertains to food. Everyone watches the movie and then makes a recipe which the film inspired. It can be any recipe you want. This month’s pick is hosted by Elizabeth at The Lawyer’s Cookbook, who she terrified us into watching the movie Hocus Pocus! I was scared I hid in my Peanut Butter Fudge and Ganache Coffins.

Peanut Butter Fudge and Ganache Tombstones

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Creative Cooking Crew: We’re going on a picnic and I’m bringing Gravlax

I just love a pot-luck. Don’t you? And with the great summer weather approaching it would be even better to take this feast outside . I have a vision of a checkered table cloth lying on the grass, a few chilled bottles of wine and an magical array of delicious dishes. The Creative Cooking Crew invites you to a virtual picnic. My contribution is a lovely sliced up slab of salmon gravlax.

gravlax  5

Tasty reading ahead, KEEP GOING… →

Salted Dulce de Leche Pretzel Thumbprints

I have been baking a lot less in the last few years and I am trying to get back to my kitchen roots slowly. A great  motivator is a group called The Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge which is all about baking sweets. Every month we are given tow required ingredients to work with. This month it is pretzels and caramel. What a salty sweet combo!

kombucha 140

I choose a cookie, basically a buttery shortbread, with crushed pretzels and dulche de leche.

Home Cured Pork Tenderloin

Hello everyone! Today is my 5th Blogiversary! Wow 5 years. And today is my 690th post. Double Wow!

This blog saw a different kind of birth compared to most other food blogs. In the beginning it was only restaurant reviews, bad ones when I look back. I started this blog as a companion to a dinner group I had created 6 month prior which was called, you guessed it, Cheap Ethnic Eatz. I organized 2 dinner outings a month to cheap ethnic restaurants. There was a limited amount of space and who ever signed up first got a spot. It was a wonderful experience which lasted three and half years. I closed the group even if it was still popular…I had taken it as far as I wanted to.

The blog transitioned along the way. I started making recipes, participating in challenges and did a few reviews. I began following and commenting other bloggers. I took a pretty dead blog and breathed life back into it. I have learned so much in the last 5 years it is astounding. My cooking skills have grown, my blog design improved many times and I am still learning to take food pictures. That is really one of the biggest challenges for me lol. Finally getting a DSLR camera helped a lot. Now I am trying to tame it. Maintaining a blog for so many years is a lot of work and time. But it is a passion and I love every minute of it.

I have met so many wonderful people through my posts and have discovered incredibly talented home chefs by following their blogs. I have made foodie friends reaching all 4 corners of the planet. I even met quite a few in person over delicious meals. Sometimes people ask me for advise on blogging, my main answer is “if you do a blog do it for yourself, not for others, and be sincere”. I try my best to stick to my advice. I am just grateful many of you like what I have to offer because my ultimate reward is connecting with you all. So a big thank you my readers.

And I have a fabulous giveaway hosted by myself which is open worldwide.

Just keep reading and the details for the giveaway will be at the bottom of the post.

Now the toughest question for this post was what to cook? I wanted to find something very extraordinary. I started to review my long list of ‘to do’ recipes and one jumped out at me. Cured Pork Tenderloin! I have never cured meat before so this sounded really cool and a bit scary actually. This recipe comes from a Montreal blogger I once had lunch with, her blog is called La Casserole Carrée. A really stunning blog visually so who cares if you can’t read French. I have to admit I was afraid when I took my first bite. Would it be cooked, who it taste funny…would I get sick? The result: wonderfully tender, salty and I could tell it was cured all the way through so perfectly safe. I feel like this experience opened a whole new culinary door. Follow me on a curing adventure, it is not a hard as it may seem.

Ξ Cured Pork Tenderloin with Parmesan, Garlic and Basil Ξ

Ingredients:
1 small slim pork tenderloin
3 tbsp salt
1/3 cup Parmesan, finely grated
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tbsp dried basil

Directions:
Prepare the pork by removing any fat or membrane left by the butcher. In a flat dish mix salt, Parmesan, garlic powder and basil. Roll the pork tenderloin in the mixture, pressing hard and ensuring the the meat is well encrusted. Lay out a thick cotton cloth (or other natural material), spread any mixture left on the cloth and wrap the meat carefully and fairly tight half way, fold in the ends and continue wrapping , secure both ends with a rubber band. Put the wrapped tenderloin in the fridge and leave it for at least 5 days (maybe a little more if the tenderloin is thick). Slice thinly and serve chilled. Delicious!

AND NOW FOR THE GIVEAWAY!

Win a beautiful reference guide that clarifies uncertainties when shopping, and lures readers into the foreign kitchens with its enticing photos. What are the names of all those delicious apples that are often sold unlabeled at fruit and vegetable markets? The produce that is piled high in all shapes and colors at the entrance to every supermarket? “Ingredients” provides help with all of these questions, identifying approximately 2000 ingredients by name and describing their composition and use. This book will help cooks, and anyone who likes to eat, find their way through the world’s jungle of ingredients. Full color stunning photography pages.

Here is what you have to do to enter the contest:

– Leave a comment in the post!

Extra entries…

– Tweet I just entered the Ingredients book GIVEAWAY with @cethniceatz at http://cultureatz.com/5th-blogiversary-giveaway-and-home-cured-pork-tenderloin/ Ends June 22nd, 2012
– Follow Cheap Ethnic Eatz on Facebook and leave separate comment
– Follow Cheap Ethnic Eatz on Twitter and leave separate comment
– Like or Share this giveaway on Facebook and leave separate comment

You have till June 22nd 2012, 23h59 EST to enter. GOOD LUCK!

IIP: Salt Preserved Jalapeno

It’s International Incident Party time again and this month the theme is SALT. Now we have a love hate relationship with salt in our modern society. We are told salt is bad…yet without salt we would not be alive. Salt was one of the few methods of food preservation before the invention of the “ice box”. Salt was so rare and expensive it was used for trades, salt created empires and unleashed wars. Funny how the precious can become so common over time.

If you are a regular reader then you know right now I am kitchen challenged i.e. it has been demolished and being rebuilt s-l-o-w-l-y. So I needed something very basic, easy, requiring a minimum of space and equipment to prepare. I had a large amount of jalapeno peppers that I was not going to get through before they went bad so I found a few leads on how to preserve them in salt. PERFECT!

But before we get to the recipe, I got curious and I rounded up all the salts I owned to see if I had a lot. These are the ones I located. Yikes! I have Kosher salt, garlic salt, black lava salt, tea smoked salt, salt with espelette chili, black sea salt, hickory smoked salt, fleur de sel and baking soda. Yes baking soda is a salt technically…from sodium jut not the common table one.

On the right is a book I just bought, Salt, which discusses salt throughout history. Of course first I have to finish about 500 page of my current 1000 page book,Pillars of the Earth. Phew.

Salt Preserved Jalapeno

enough fresh jalapeno (or any chili pepper you have) to fill your jar
coarse salt
opt: a sweet pepper for color contrast

  1. Wash and drain peppers then cut into thin slices or pieces, seeds included.
  2. In a sterilize glass jar drop in the bottom 1 tbsp of salt.
  3. Add a layer of jalapeno and sweet pepper if used.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you reach the top of the jar. Close lid tight.
  5. Leave in a cool place for a couple of weeks before using, then store in the refrigerator once opened.

TIP: Use a pair of disposable medical gloves when slicing to protect yourself from burning your hands. You can usually get just a couple of pairs in the hair dye section of the drugstore.

Super easy and quick, perfect for me right now. Oh and this would make a perfect holiday gift for a friend with a spicy pallet! Use any chili pepper you like, mix em up or add some herbs too.

International Incident Salt Party

On the way to Gambia: Beef in Aubergine Sauce

Remember about 5 months ago when I had major water damage and I was suppose to get a new kitchen out of it. Well I did not. Then early last week I had to endure another moment of water problems. No damage (to my stuff, nor in the kitchen) this times but things shook up big time in the landlord’s office. My apartment is a construction site in the bedroom, hallway and I have no kitchen right now. So not a whole lo of cooking going on. I am documenting the whole kitchen project so expect soon a post on that.

This meant I had to EMPTY the entire kitchen Sunday, Oh what Fun! And I had a dinner guest Sunday night too, nothing fancy or major but still. My guest is a long time friend who in the past was in Africa for about 4 months. And I just happen to buy an African cookbook. So grab your suitcase and hop on board to a delicious yet simple one pot Gambian stew served with fufu.

Gambian Beef in Aubergine Sauce, from The Taste of Africa

1 lb stewing beef, cubed
1 tsp thyme
3 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 garlic glove, crushed
1 19 oz stewed tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp all spice
1 chili pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cups beef stock
1 large eggplant
salt and pepper

  1. Season beef with thyme, salt and pepper
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot and brown the meat, transfer meat to a bowl
  3. Add remaining oil in the pot and fry the onion and garlic for a few minutes.
  4. Add the tomato can and tomato paste, simmer 5-10 minutes
  5. Add the all spice, chili, beef stock and meat to the pot. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut the aubergine in small cube. Stir into the pot, cover and cook another 30 minutes.
  7. Adjust seasoning if need be. Serves 4 in a soup bowl with some fufu.

I rarely buy cookbooks any more because of the internet and because cookbooks can be so expensive even if stunning at times. But I had been meaning to visit Appetite for Books for quite some time and I finally got around to it. This bookstore in Westmount (Montreal) is entirely dedicated to books about food. It is totally awesome. I spoke for a while to the lady working there, she gave me great advice and suggestions when I asked for help and we of course chatted about food and blogs. And I could not resist leaving the store without at least one purchase so I got The Taste of Africa cookbook and a historical book on Salt. Classes, book launches and cooking demos also take place here in the full kitchen. It is really worth checking out if you come to Montreal.

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Fufu, from The Taste of Africa

The best way I can describe Fufu is like polenta but it is made with ground rice. It has a porridge-like consistency and is used to mop up the liquid from the stew. I had this at a restaurant once and was fascinated so when I saw the recipe in the book I knew it was a must asap.

1 1/4 cup milk
1 1/4 cup water
2 tbsp butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
1 1/2 cup rice flour

  1. Put milk, water, butter and salt in a pan, bring to a boil.
  2. Lower your heat to low.
  3. Add parsley and then gradually the rice flour while stirring non stop with a wooden spoon to prevent the rice becoming lumpy. It should ball up a stick together.
  4. If it is too wet still let it cook a bit more. Divide in 4 and add to serving bowl with the stew.